June 12, 2006

How it happened, Part 1

Posted in divorce, nostalgia at 11:15 am by Marise Phillips

A few years ago, my boss informed me that our team was going to be reorganized and that I – or my job, at least – would be made redundant. The company I worked for, SureSize Corporation*, called this status "redeployment," and it meant that I had approximately 4 months to find a new job, either inside or outside the company – or simply take the severance money and run.

During my year and a half there thus far, I'd had far more ups than downs – but had finally caught a break about a month before the redeployment by being assigned to a very exciting, high-profile project. The timing couldn't have been worse for me to leave SureSize; the project was interesting, a lot of fun, staffed with some of my favorite colleagues and would look great in my portfolio.

Considering the options, I decided to keep working as if my days weren't numbered, and I put in evening and weekend hours to finish the design and specification. My efforts were noticed and appreciated, and I felt vindicated by the praise I was finally receiving from a management team that had hitherto only been fairly dubious of my contribution to the organization. Meanwhile, I put out feelers for other positions within the company because I really liked its culture and benefits and hoped to remain there long term.

The only challenge was staying out of Hank's** way.

Now in charge of the team that had just swallowed up the one I was in, I'm fairly certain that Hank was the main force behind the decision to redeploy me. Unfortunately for my future there, Hank was swiftly climbing the corporate ranks in SureSize's Marin County headquarters – and he'd taken a dislike to me several months earlier, I guess for not submitting to his short-man-syndrome-induced authority on more than one occasion.

Thanks to my "great attitude" and hard work on the exciting project, however, I was recommended for an opportunity to fill in for a product designer in the San Francisco office who was going on maternity leave for six months. The hiring manager there was fairly confident that she would either not come back (since this was her second child) or that there would be an open headcount ready for me by the time the six months were up.

I accepted the new job without hesitation; the only negative (and hardly a major one) was that my current 10-minute commute would increase to about an hour, but the majority of that time would be spent on a scenic ferry crossing from Larkspur to downtown San Francisco. Moreover, SureSize’s offices were in the same exact building as my husband’s. We could commute together!

* Not the company's real name.
** Not Hank's real name.


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